This morning at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg an unknown shooter killed perhaps 13 and injured as many as 20 others before being stopped. Michael Hanley, Bishop of the Diocese of Oregon, extends our prayers for the victims, their families, as well as all the students and faculty of the college.
Gun violence has intruded into too many places where people have always felt safe. As people of God we struggle with how to respond. We call for more vigilance, fewer guns, tighter controls, and all the other responses our hearts and our faith call us to. But, in the end, we find ourselves again faced with the blood of innocents. We know this will never end until our faith in the risen Christ has overthrown the voices of violence and fear that seemingly compel us to stock our lives with firearms.
Let us respond with the transformative power of love and again dedicate our lives to ending all of these expressions of hatred and self-loathing. To the people of Roseburg, Umpqua Community College, and the community as a whole: Know that we are with you in your sorrow, loss and fear and offer healing prayers for your tomorrow. St. George’s Episcopal Church in Roseburg has opened its doors as a place of prayer and healing for all the community.
Episcopal Relief & Development has several links to documents with counseling assistance in times of loss and disaster.